Tybee Island Marine Science Center Names New Executive Director

Staff Report

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

The Tybee Island Marine Science Center has announced that Chantal Emilie Audran will serve as its new Executive Director. Prior to the announcement, Audran served as the Center’s Acting Director.

In making the announcement, Doug Duch, president of the Tybee Island Marine Science Foundation’s Board of Trustees, said, “Chantal has helped to ensure a smooth transition since our longtime executive director, Maria Procopio, left the Center. Between her more than 10 years with the Center and her well-established role as a dedicated curator, Chantal has proven to be a true leader and innovator. She definitely has the knowledge, experience and excitement necessary to take the helm of this organization.

Since joining the Marine Science Center’s staff in 2011 as a senior marine science educator, Audran has taught students and island visitors about the pristine beauty of coastal Georgia’s dynamic barrier islands. In addition, she wrote and implemented curriculum for Sidewalk to the Sea, the Center’s signature education program that hosts classes for underprivileged students on the beach and in the salt marsh. She has presented the program modules at the National Science Teachers Association and Georgia Association of Marine Educators conferences. In 2014 she was promoted to curator and for the past eight years has designed and maintained the life support systems for the Marine Science Center’s live animal exhibits. During this time, Audran developed the protocol for the Marine Science Center’s Collection Program that has defined its practices as a catch-and-release facility (staff and volunteers collecting animals, locally). She also managed the facility’s Conservation Programs - diamondback terrapin and sea/shorebird rescue and actively volunteered in the Sea Turtle Stranding Network and Marine Mammal Stranding Network (Georgia Department of Natural Resources).

Audran’s love for marine science began at the Marine Biological Laboratories (MBL) in Woods Hole, MA., where she taught sea camp to children in the Periwinkle and Satellite Clubs. Upon completing her education in Biology and Chemistry at Loyola University Chicago and Georgia Southern University, she continued her path in marine education at the University of Georgia, Marine Extension in Savannah, GA, as a summer camp educator before joining the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.